Straight to the Heart by S. J. Coles

Straight to the Heart by S. J. Coles
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQ, Erotic Romance, Suspense/Mystery/Thriller
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

What happens when the person you can’t get out of your head also happens to be the number one suspect in your murder investigation?

Derek Benson, CEO of Benson Industries, is found dead in his office at a time when everyone in the building, including him, should have been at an important meeting about the company’s future. Conveniently for the killer, the security footage from the time of the murder has vanished.

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There’s just one problem—the intriguing form of young lab technician Leo Hannah, an employee of Benson Industries and a key witness, who appears to know more than he’s admitting to.

As the investigation progresses, James finds that his previously steadfast ability to separate personal from professional becomes increasingly unreliable. Can he get his head I the game before he compromises the investigation and his future career?

Any other time, FBI Agent James Solomon is all business. Until he meets a man he can’t get out of his head. He doesn’t have time for dalliances, he has a murder to investigate. But will he be able to keep Leo out of his head long enough to find the culprit?

James Solomon is good at his job and it appears that he even enjoys what he does. He’s precise and observant, picking up on things that others might miss. He’s also pretty fun. I thoroughly enjoyed the early interactions between him and his partner, Lisa Gibson. They worked well together and seemed to almost feed off each other’s strong points. So, when, approximately halfway through the book, James does something incredibly stupid, I had to pause for a moment. I found it a bit out of character for someone so dedicated to his job, so good at it that a higher-ranking agent points out how good he is, to do something that would potentially end his career. The temptation to do what he did made complete sense. But to act on it? That really threw me out of the story. Thankfully, I was engaged enough in the mystery to put James’ poor choices aside long enough to finish the story.

That aside, the mystery was solid and although you have an idea of who committed the act early on, their reasonings for it were a surprise. I also liked James, despite his bad choices. His calls with his sister were sweet, even if he wasn’t prepared to fully engage her when she called. Also, the strained relationship with his father added a bit of humanity to his character that gave me reason to empathize with him. I’d really enjoy a sequel to see ho everything shakes out for James, his family, Lisa, and Leo. In the meantime, I’m going to see what else the author has on offer.

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